20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

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20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup | gimmesomeoven.com

As promised, here is your second chicken enchilada soup recipe in one week!

For those of you who missed Monday’s post on Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup, I mentioned that our Gimme Some Oven Facebook seemed split down the middle when I asked whether they would like a slow cooker or 20-minute version of this soup.  So I decided to make both!  Although to “cheese” things up a bit, I based the 20-minute version off of the chicken enchilada soup I happen to adore at Chili’s.

Yes, I admit it, I love Chili’s.  When I was in high school, Chili’s was the first restaurant “hangout” my friends chose once we got our drivers licenses and realized we could eat bottomless chips and salsa for (back then) just $2.  Then in my early twenties, Chili’s happened to be right around the corner from the Sunday night church I attended, and all of the hipsters piled in the booths and hung around until midnight to close out the week.  And now — my friends all totally judge me for loving Chili’s, so I have made it a tradition to very happily eat at one of those mini-Chili’s whenever I see one in an airport, where I order chicken enchilada soup and a margarita (a must before long flights) and eat chips and salsa to my heart’s content.

Some things never change…

…including this soup.  I learned how to make a copycat version of it back in college, and still enjoy cooking it to this day.  Although I admit I have made a few tweaks to the recipe over the years, such as replacing Velveeta with real cheese.  Here’s how I make it!

20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup | gimmesomeoven.com

The two things about the Chili’s version of chicken enchilada soup that separates it from all others is that it is thick and it is cheesy.

The thickness is due to using masa harina, a corn flour that is available in any grocery store.  (Just look for it in the flour section.)  It’s the same flour that is used to make corn tortillas, and it gives the soup a velvety thickness as well as some nice corn flavor.

As I mentioned above, I’m pretty sure (although not positive) that the Chili’s version of this soup uses some sort of processed cheese like Velveeta.  But I much prefer to use regular sharp (or extra sharp) cheddar.  As with anytime you melt cheese in a soup, be sure to buy the block of cheese and then grate it yourself just before using it, because the pre-shredded stuff has a coating on it that doesn’t melt as well.

Red Enchilada Sauce 4

If you have the time, I also highly recommend making my homemade red enchilada sauce for this soup.  It’s also quick and easy to make, and it is packed with my favorite enchilada seasonings.  But if you’re in a hurry, the canned stuff will also work.  (You may just want to add in an extra 1/2 or 1 teaspoon of chili powder if you use the canned sauce, as its flavor isn’t quite as strong.)

I also enjoy adding in some black beans, fire-roasted diced tomatoes and chopped green chiles to my chicken enchilada soup for substance.  But if you want to go the chili’s route, they pretty much just have the thick broth + chicken, which also works.

20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup | gimmesomeoven.com

Once you mix up your soup base, just stir in the shredded cheese one handful at a time.  And then this thick and cheesy soup is ready to serve!

20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup | gimmesomeoven.com

You can either serve it plain…

20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup | gimmesomeoven.com

…or load it up with all kinds of toppings.  Whatever sounds good.

And for old time’s sake, I have to also recommend serving it with some good chips and salsa.  Because…just because.  :)


20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup | gimmesomeoven.com


20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x


This delicious chicken enchilada soup is thick, cheesy, and ready to go (once your ingredients are prepped!) in just 20 minutes!



  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup masa harina
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly-grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more/less to taste
  • optional toppings: tortilla chips/strips, diced avocado, extra shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, and/or pico de gallo


  1. Heat the oil in a large stock over medium-high heat. (To save time, peel and dice the onion for the minute or so that the oil heats.) Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until cooked and translucent. Add the garilc and saute for an additional minute until fragrant. Stir in the masa harina and cook for an additional minute.
  2. Pour in half of the chicken stock, and stir until completely combined. Add in the remainder of the chicken stock, and stir to combine. Immediately add in the chicken, enchilada sauce, black beans, tomatoes, green chiles, salt and cumin, and stir until combined. Continue stirring occasionally until the mixture reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the soup does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Then stir in the cheese, one handful at a time, until combined. Taste, and season the soup to taste with salt.
  3. Serve the soup warm with desired toppings.

20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup | gimmesomeoven.com

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406 comments on “20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup”

  1. Pingback: 20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilad Soup | Dinner Recipes & Ideas

  2. Would it be possible to do this without chicken?

    • Sure! You could easily make this vegetarian (using vegetable stock, and maybe adding more beans). Or, if you wanted to use another meat, some tender, shredded pork shoulder would be yummy in this. Hope you enjoy!

  3. Thank you, so much for this recipe and the Enchilada sauce. I, too, love to eat Chili’s.

  4. With a cool Ohio summer day, I wanted to make something warm, and use up leftover rotisserie chicken. The colorful brightness of your soup drew me in immediately;  the spectacular taste will keep me coming back to this recipe!  My family loved it. Thank you!

    • Thank you Linda, we’re so happy to hear that! Thanks for giving the recipe a try. : )

  5. This was really good! But just to clarify its called Harina de Maiz, or Corn Flour. Masa and Harina both mean flour in Spanish. I was a bit confused when looking for it at the grocery store and turns out I was just looking for the wrong thing. 

    • Thank you Nairobi, that is good to know, we’re sorry for the confusion!

    • Ah, I’m referring to corn flour. In the United States, it is labeled “Masa Harina” in most grocery stores, but yes it’s definitely corn flour. Enjoy!

  6. im wondering if the fantastic looking soup is SPICY  can’t eat spicy at all ?

    • Hey Jennifer! If you can’t tolerate spicy at all, you probably won’t care for this recipe. Between the green chiles and the enchilada sauce, it definitely has some kick to it.

  7. So delish!  Made this for dinner Sunday night and we barely had enough for leftovers!!

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  11. I’m so excited to try this! I didn’t see corn flour at the grocery store today…could I use corn starch instead? 

    • If you can’t find masa harina, cornmeal is the best substitute. We hope you enjoy this Lindsey!

  12. This looks like an awesome thing to make for my roommates- is it spicy? One of my roommates has approximately zero tolerance for spicy food so if it is, I’ll have to figure out what to do to make it milder. Thanks!

    • Thanks Maggie! If your roommate likes no spice at all, we’d suggest buying a mild enchilada sauce, because the homemade recipe is easy to scale back on the heat, but difficult to take it out completely since the chili powder is the central ingredient. We think the canned green chillies should be fine though, as they don’t pack much heat, but if you want to play it really safe, you could leave them out. We hope this helps!

  13. Can you substitute for the corn flour if you don’t have any or do you really need that type of flour? All I have is all-purpose and whole wheat flour. Also, would it change the consistency if I blended up the diced tomatoes? My bf doesn’t like tomato chunks haha.

    • Hi Jennifer! If you can’t find masa harina, cornmeal is the closest substitute. And we don’t think the consistency would change if you blended the tomatoes. :) Enjoy!

  14. I rarely comment on blogs or recipes for that matter but this one was sooo good I had to! Everyone just loved it! 

    I got the corn flour at Whole Foods, it was labeled corn flour on the bag and only $2.99. I also got the black beans at Whole Foods and got the “Spicy Black Beans” which were ready to serve, not super liquidy but I drained a bit of the liquid that was excess anyway. I also cut the cheese to 5 oz. to save on fat and calories, not much I know but any bit helps, right?! I did make the shredded chicken ahead of time and used this method: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/how-to-simple-shredded-chicken-and-another-recipe-collage/ – super easy and chicken came out great! I reserved the rest in a bag for another dinner later in the week.

    This recipe is amazing and will now be in regular rotation at my house! Thank you!

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  17. Just made this soup.  I made the homemade enchilada sauce which was easy and delicious.  This recipe is a keeper.  Just wonderful.  If there are any vegetarians that may want something like this, I tasted it before adding the chicken and it was really delicious.  I also thought it was delicious before adding the cheese, if dairy is a problem for you.  I can never make a recipe without adding my tweaks.  I added a bit of tomato paste to the enchilada sauce and upped the spices a bit. I also threw in a can of corn because I love corn in mexican red saucy foods.   I will probably add a bit of cayenne because I like it spicy.  
    Make this soup!   Your family will love it and so will you.

    • Thanks so much for your sweet words Renee! We’re thrilled that you love this soup! Also, thanks for sharing your tweaks. :)

  18. Just made this tonight and it was amazing!!!! I was on the fence about buying the corn flour because I don’t have anything else to use it for however it is a real necessity. When it cooks in it gives you this great aroma from the corn flour, if I had used all purpose flour I don’t think I would have liked this soup nearly as much.

  19. This was scrumptious…a keeper…a definite make again!  I used boneless chicken thighs (cause that’s what I had on hand), and cut them cut into strips for quick cooking.  I did have homemade enchilada sauce in the freezer and think that added a lot in terms of flavor.  Soup was topped the soup with blue tortilla chips and avocado. 

  20. I plan on making this for a potluck tomorrow. Will it keep well in a crockpot, or will it burn? I saw your crockpot version, but I like the masa harina and cheese in this one.

    • Yeah, the Crock Pot might be difficult with this one with the masa and cheese. I would wait to add the cheese and masa until the very end. And for the masa, I would whisk it together in a separate bowl with equal parts chicken broth until it is dissolved, and THEN add it to the hot soup. Hope that helps!

  21. I guess this is a fusion of some type and more Tex-Mex than Mexican.  The black beans are a Caribbean addition.   
    I really object to using canned enchilada sauce especially when it is so easy to make it at home.  Traditional enchilada sauce does not have tomato in it.   It is just chile, spices & herbs, broth, a bit of flour and onion.   We make a roux then add the broth,  The recipe for homemade on this site is pretty good though.  I am so happy tomatoes were not used.  That stuff in the can is super Tex-Mex and the Mexicans in my town in Texas would not even use it.  In our Mexican family we make our own although I do enjoy Tex-Mex sometimes because it means I don’t have to cook!  :  )

  22. Trying to make this recipe for dinner tonight but I cannot find the corn flour anywhere,  what can i use in place of it?

    • Hey Penny, you can use cornmeal, as that’s the closest substitute, and it will work really well!

  23. Just wanted to say thanks, your soup recipie just won me first place in a little competition.  The local Audubon supports a fall raptor watch and each year has a soup cook off.  Today was the day and it was cold and spitting snow on the mountain top, a great day for a “stick to your ribs” soup.  Lots of great soup, but this took the prize.

    I smoked the chicken with some hickory wood chips before shredding it.  I did use your enchilada sauce recipie as well.  Made some bacon jalapeño cornbread to go with it.  Nothing was left by the end of the competition.

    So thanks for a great recipie!

    • That’s so wonderful to hear, thanks for sharing with us! Those hickory chips, and that bacon jalapeño cornbread sounds RIDICULOUS! :D

  24. I made this chicken enchilada soup and it was awesome!! It was leaving them for more! I will make it often! Thank you.

  25. Pingback: - Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

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  30. Do you know if masa harina is gluten free?

    • Hi Karin, good question! Masa Harina is naturally gluten-free, however some brands that make it aren’t produced in a gluten-free facility, so there could be traces of gluten in certain products. If you want to be absolutely sure the masa harina is gluten-free, you do best to buy either of these brands:

  31. REALLY want to try this, but Hubs has a bad allergy to onions and reacts similarly to garlic… (such a bummer because all my fave soups need onion!) is there a way to include the Masa without sautéing in the onions and garlic? Can it be mixed in with the stock and enchilada sauce? 

    Thanks! Looking forward to this for “soup season!” 

    • Sure thing, I would just heat the oil and stir the masa in with that for 2-3 minutes to form a roux. Then continue on with the recipe as directed. Hope you enjoy the soup! :)

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  33. This soup is so amazing, that I am half embarrassed to say we’ve made it twice this week!  Not a joke…it’s amazing.  Thanks so much for the awesome recipe and I look forward to trying more!

    • Don’t be embarrassed, we think that’s awesome you love it that much Patty! And thanks for your sweet words! :)

  34. Hi I love this soup I make it a lot but want to add corn next time I make it without having to cut the black beans in half or anything like that as me and my boyfriend love black beans. Should I add more chicken stock so it won’t be too thick? Thanks!

    • Hey Leslie, we’re glad you like the soup! Corn would be a yummy addition, and adding a little more chicken stock as well definitely wouldn’t hurt! :)

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  36. Just made this for dinner tonight! We haven’t ate it just yet, but I had to taste it! I didn’t have cornmeal, so instead I made a roux and added to the soup before I put in the cheese and it thickened up perfectl! I also added a little bit of taco seasoning to it and it tastes great! 

  37. Made this soup tonight, and my picky husband and I loved it.  My only question is how can I make it a little spicier?  It’s wonderful for those who like it mild, but to us, we would like a little more spice.  Thanks.

    • Thanks for sharing Mi, we’re glad you guys enjoyed this! To make this spicier, you could do a number of things: You could try adding some minced jalapeño, Mexican hot sauce, some cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (or just spoon some of the adobo sauce in there) – this is a great way to get more heat, and it will add a nice smoky flavor! Whatever you try, just start with a small amount, since you can always add more heat. We hope this helps! :)

  38. I made this for dinner last night and it was awesome! I didn’t have cornmeal, so instead I made a roux and added it to the soup, before I put in the cheese. It thickened it up to perfection! I also put in a little bit of taco seasoning to flavor it up a bit! It was yummy and even my kids are it! Thanks for the recipe!

  39. Any clue on calories per serving? 

    • Hi Alisse! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

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  41. Made this last night. OMGSH!!! I thought Chili’s made the best chicken enchilada soup. This is our winter time soup of the year. Honestly this is SUPER YUMMY. Thank you for posting it. This family LOVES IT!!!

  42. This was perfect for a cold and windy day in Oklahoma! I made it to direction without adding as much cheese, as I used an ultra sharp cheddar block, and it was perfectly thick with about 2/3-3/4 of the cheese the recipe called for (I used some of the rest for garnish). I also added corn for an extra veggie. For anyone saying this looks good, it tastes even better! Be sure to make the tortillas for the added crunch (if you don’t soak them)! I added one more garnish, a small amount of sour cream on top, YUM! By the way, Ali, thank you for letting me know about Masa Harina (I used the yellow corn version), as this worked great and I am positive it tastes better than flour or corn meal as a thickener.

    • We’re so happy to hear that Josh, thanks for sharing with us! We’re glad you liked using the Masa Harina too! :)

  43. Made this Tonight myself and hubby loved it. Taking some for my lunch tomorrow. Was an easy recipe to follow and the ingredients are so easy to find. Did not have a problem finding the mass flour and I live in the deep south .I did add some fresh corn and it took it to a new level of freshness. Thank you for the recipe. Looking forward to trying more.

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  45. Pingback: 20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup | Healthy Info Mix at XYZ

  46. Does this reheat well in the microwave? I’d love to bring for my work lunch.

  47. I made the 20-minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup for dinner last night. It was so delicious! Hubby said, “Keep that recipe. It was good!” as he dug into a second bowl. I loved it, too!

  48. Pingback: 20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilad Soup | Gimme Some Oven #Health #Fitness - Urban Angels

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